VR is impressive to watch — but it is less impressive to purchase
Many people probably have experience of VR second-hand, rather than from the comfort of their own home. A casual demo in a gaming convention here, or a half hour spent on someone else’s setup there — the interest exists, but the demand does not.
The titles already coming out for it are getting better and better, and have already contributed to a branch of Youtubers focusing on VR content. VRChat, Beat Saber and Half Life: Alyx have been raising the bar — and the popularity — of VR for some time to come. Why, then, have we not seen more people with these setups? For all of its promising and entertaining features, it still sits firmly in what I call ‘spectator software’: the kind of technology that is appreciated for most people by watching someone else demonstrate what can be done: someone else who has the time and the resources available to actually implement what is currently a very obtuse form of entertainment.
Rob Fahey of Games Industry argues that a battle of formats threatens to block the VR industry from ever venturing beyond the realm of a niche technology trick. Currently, he says, the route into VR gaming involves research similar to the kind you might make in trying to build your own PC, being sure to dodge the pitfalls that might mean you end up with a pricey VR headset that isn’t compatible with the game you wanted to try out, let alone the kind of system you’ll need in order to run VR effectively in the first place.
He likens it to something of a Wild West-style marketplace, where competing manufacturers are eager to stab each other in the back for a formidable slice of the pie, albeit a very undercooked pie. Some Oculus titles are restricted not only to the Oculus store but to Oculus headsets as well, a console-inspired move that has less of a place in PC gaming.
I agree with him in that this sort of competition is not a healthy environment for many people trying to get into some of the bigger VR releases out at the moment, but I think that there is a bigger elephant are in the VR space than that.
For many people teetering on the edge about whether to buy the kit needed to play with VR, the price is simply too expensive. Why bother paying so much for a select group of games when such a huge library of games exists already? Even if you disregard the steep prices of the type of PC needed to run VR effectively, you’re looking at several hundred more dollars to get the kit and set it up.
I’ve talked to many people who have expressed the wish to get their own VR kit to mess about with, but they are often underresourced: or, at least, are not willing to part with such a significant sum of money (and, in some cases, dedicating the space) for something that still comes with many unknowns. These people are often the type of person the marketing is aimed at: gaming hobbyists who are into these sort of developments. If you include casual players and families into the mix, the combination of cost and unclear instruction makes for a purchasing journey that is more of a twisting route through a forest than a clear path to VR gaming.
Half Life: Alyx brought with it a percentage increase of Steam users with a VR headset from 1.29% to 1.91%. UploadVR.com seems enthusiastic about this — I am less convinced. This is a game where reviews are Overwhelmingly Positive on Steam, with a total review count of just under 25,000 as of the time of writing. The reception to this game has been mindblowing. Why, then, hasn’t it enabled the shifting of more units? Half Life is probably the Bible of PC gamers who have grown up with Steam. The demand is definitely there. It should be translating into more sales — but it isn’t.
Until the technology is cheaper and easier to set up, in my opinion, these small percentiles will be all that VR gaming will ever see. To me, VR evokes some less-than-pleasant memories of the Kinect. Billed as a generational leap in gaming technology, but in reality being more of a drunken stumble, it was hampered by niche party and sub-standard games often made to get funding from Microsoft rather than from any real commitment to a solid title in itself. I can’t think of any noteworthy Kinect titles that I felt I missed out on, and from looking at some old reviews on Youtube of some titles, I am glad I gave the idea a wide berth. It essentially became something of a gimmicky relic that sank into gaming history with few people mourning its passing.
As harsh as this may seem, the idea of VR as a gaming peripheral still sits in that space for me. Sure, the technology is impressive, and the games are looking more adventurous and cinematic with the likes of Half Life: Alyx busting into the scene, but I can’t shake the ‘gimmick effect’ that I view the technology with. Not until huge steps are taken to make the technology more accessible.
Minecraft trifft auf Bitcoin-Welt: Integration von Blockchain-Plug-In
BitClave gehört zu den Unternehmen, die zur ICO-Boomphase Ende 2017 viele Millionen von Investoren einsammeln konnten. Nun kommt die Rechnung: Die US-Wertpapieraufsicht SEC fordert einen zweistelligen Millionenbetrag gegen das bereits operativ gescheiterte Krypto-Start-up zurück.
Die US-amerikanische Börsenaufsichtsbehörde (Securities and Exchange Commission, kurz SEC) hat gestern, am 28. Mai, Anklage gegen das Blockchain-Unternehmen BitClave PTE Ltd. mit Sitz in San Jose, Kalifornien, wegen der Durchführung eines nicht registrierten Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) angekündigt. BitClave erklärte sich bereit, die Gebühren durch die Rückzahlung der Erlöse aus dem Angebot und die Zahlung zusätzlicher finanzieller Erleichterungen zu begleichen. Die Gelder aus dem Entschädigungsfonds sollen den Investoren zugutekommen.
Die kurze Erfolgsgeschichte von BitClave
Das Krypto-Start-up BitClave dürfte sinnbildlich für viele Krypto-Start-ups stehen, die zur richtigen Zeit in 2017 viel Geld durch ein ICO einsammeln konnten, ohne es aber letztlich zu schaffen, einen kommerziell erfolgreichen Use Case von dem vielen Geld aufzubauen. Laut Anordnung der SEC hat BitClave von Juni bis November 2017 durch den Verkauf seiner Consumer Activity Tokens (CAT) an circa 9.500 Investoren, darunter auch Investoren in den USA, über 25 Millionen US-Dollar eingenommen.
Die Anordnung stellt fest, dass BitClave, wie in seinen Angebotsunterlagen erläutert, plante, die ICO-Einnahmen zur Entwicklung, Verwaltung und Vermarktung einer blockchainbasierten Suchplattform für gezielte Verbraucherwerbung zu verwenden. BitClave unterstrich seine Erwartung, dass die Token an Wert gewinnen würden, und unternahm Schritte, um die Token nach dem ICO für den Handel auf Krypto-Handelsplattformen verfügbar zu machen.
Die Regulierungs-Falle hat zugeschnappt
Damit hat BitClave nach US-Gesetz Token verkauft, die als Wertpapiere bei der SEC hätten registriert werden müssen. Viele ICOs hatten gehofft mit ihren Token nicht unter das Wertpapiergesetz zu fallen. Die SEC sieht das anders und stellt in ihrer Verfügung fest, dass BitClave es versäumt hat, ihre Angebote und Verkäufe von CAT, die Wertpapiere darstellten, zu registrieren. Man hat CAT inzwischen von vielen Krypto-Börsen entfernt. Auch ist BitClave derzeit dabei, seinen Betrieb einzustellen und plant nicht, die Plattform weiterzuentwickeln.
Ohne die Feststellungen der SEC zuzugeben oder zu dementieren, stimmte BitClave der Zahlung von 25.500.000 US-Dollar, Verzugszinsen in Höhe von 3.444.197 US-Dollar und einer Strafe von 400.000 US-Dollar zu.
Fortnite’s Rarest Skin Recon Expert Makes a Surprise Appearance
Fortnite’s ultra rare skin called Recon Expert has just been released in the item shop a few hours ago. Recon Expert is one of the most sought out skins in the game that only true OGs had prior to this day. Some users reported even paying hundreds of dollars for an account with that skins..
Well, those that paid high prices for accounts with that skin are definitely not happy right now that this skin is out for everybody to purchase for only 1,200 Vbucks.
— NeedForBeans (@needforbeans) May 27, 2020
You already know I had to get that skin the second I saw it.
Many Fortnite players still can’t believe that the skin is actually there, and what’s more is that the item shop refreshed at very random time as well.
Some are speculating that the item shop refreshing early must have been a bug, but with the release of such a sought out skin, was it just a coincidence after all?
Let me know what you guys think!
Daniel Abt fired from Audi’s Formula E team for using pro sim driver in virtual race
Audi fired Daniel Abt from its Formula E racing team after learning he had a professional sim driver race for him during a virtual competition called the “Race at Home Challenge” held over the weekend.
The automaker said in a statement via Formula E that Abt had been suspended from Audi Sport “with immediate effect.” However, it appears the consequences are more serious and final. Abt said in a video message published Tuesday on YouTube that Audi had dropped him from the team.
“Today I was informed in a conversation with Audi that our ways will split from now on,” Abt said, according to a translation of the video message. “We won’t be racing together in Formula E anymore and the cooperation has ended. It is a pain which I have never felt in this way in my life.”
The 14-minute video was meant to explain the incident that occurred May 23 during the virtual competition, Abt said. He claims that it was all meant as a joke, which he intended to publicize after the race.
Abt tapped 18-year-old pro sim driver Lorenz Hoerzing to take his spot in the fifth round of Formula E’s online sim racing series. Unlike the real Formula E race series, this was meant to entertain fans and raise funds for UNICEF.
Hoerzing came in third in the race. Questions were raised almost immediately following the virtual event when Abt didn’t appear on the post-race interview.
Abt explained, via translation of the video, the plan.
“We had a conversation and the idea came up that it would be a funny move if a sim racer basically drove for me, to show the other, real drivers, what he is capable of and use the chance to drive against them,” Abt said. “We wanted to document it and create a funny story for the fans with it.”
Abt later added that it was never his intention to “get a result and keep quiet about it later on just to make me look better.”
Abt has also been fined €10,000, which will be sent to the charity.
You can watch the entire statement here.
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